Ravel, Dukas, and More

Curtis Symphony Orchestra | November 6, 2022 7:00 p.m.

A Night of French Music

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the renowned Curtis Symphony Orchestra and rising young stars of Curtis Opera Theatre in a musical tour of France. Romantic, mysterious, and awe-inspiring like the glow of Paris at night, this delightful program of mischievous magic, childhood fairytales, and operatic jewels celebrates the music of Dukas, Gounod, Debussy, Massenet, and Ravel.

Paul Dukas’s masterful symphonic tone poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has become wildly popular with audiences across the globe since its premiere in 1897. Based on a ballad by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and immortalized through Walt Disney’s groundbreaking animated film Fantasia, this lively work captures the imagination as the spell of an inept magician’s apprentice goes chaotically awry.

This spirited scherzo is followed by popular opera selections from Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Jules Massenet’s romantic tragedy Werther, and two works by master orchestrator Maurice Ravel. That impressionist composer’s playful Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère L’Oye), a collection of five charming storybook miniatures, and Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2, a ravishing, romantic “choreographic symphony” in three exhilarating parts for orchestra and chorus, bring the evening to a thrilling close.

Run time: Approximately 110 minutes including one 20-minute intermission

View the program book.

PAUL DUKAS The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Jacob Niemann, conducting fellow

CHARLES GOUNOD Roméo et Juliette (excerpt)

“Depuis hier...Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle?”

Stephano: Ruby Dibble
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

CLAUDE DEBUSSY Pelléas et Mélisande (excerpt)

Tower scene: “Mes longs cheveux descendent jusqu’au seuil de la tour”

Mélisande: Juliette Tacchino
Pelléas: Ben Schaefer
Golaud: Evan Gray
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

JULES MASSENET Werther (excerpt)

Air des lettres: “Werther...Werther...qui m’aurait dit la place que dans mon coeur il’occupe au jourd’hui?”

Charlotte: Katie Trigg
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

CHARLES GOUNOD Faust (excerpt)

Prison scene and final trio: “Va t’en! Le jour vient luire....Alerte, alerte, ou vous êtes perdus”

Marguerite: Olivia Smith
Faust: Joseph Tancredi
Méphistophélès: Eric Owens
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

MAURICE RAVEL Mother Goose Suite

Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête
Petit Poucet
Laideronnette, impératrice des pagoda
Le jardin féerique

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2

Lever du jour
Danse générale

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

  • November 6, 2022
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
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  • Yannick Nézet-Séguin is music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain; and in September 2018, began his tenure as music director of the Metropolitan Opera.  Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Mr. Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, boundless enthusiasm, and fresh approach to programming have been heralded by audiences and critics alike.

    Mr. Nézet-Séguin has appeared with most of the world’s leading orchestras. He enjoys close collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He is honorary conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic after serving as its music director from 2008 to 2018; and was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2008 to 2014. He has appeared repeatedly at the BBC Proms and many European and North American festivals, among them Edinburgh, Grafenegg, Lanaudière, Lucerne, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Saratoga, and Vail. He has conducted annually at the Metropolitan Opera since 2009, and has led productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London; Netherlands Opera; and the Vienna State Opera. He records for Deutsche Grammophon.

    A native of Montreal, Mr. Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de music du Québec. He continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini, and also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. His honors include Musical America’s Artist of the Year (2016), the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada’s National Arts Centre Award, and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. He holds honorary doctorates from multiple institutions, including the University of Québec in Montreal, Westminster Choir College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Cur­tis Institute of Music, where he has served on the faculty as mentor conductor since 2013.

  • Bass-baritone Eric Owens has a unique reputation as an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in orchestral, recital, and operatic repertoire, Mr. Owens has brought his powerful poise, expansive voice, and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world in the 25 years since his graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music.

    At the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Owens has appeared in leading roles in Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin, Dvorák’s Rusalka, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Strauss’s Elektra, and John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; and as Alberich and Hagen in Wagner’s Ring cycle. He is in the midst of a Ring cycle as Wotan/Wanderer for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he has also appeared in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Dvorák’s Rusalka and serves as a Community Ambassador. He appears regularly in leading roles at LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival, where he is artistic advisor.

    Mr. Owens has also appeared in concert with most of the leading U.S. orchestras. His international credits include the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and English National Opera; the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Toronto Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company; the Swedish Radio and New Zealand symphony orchestras; and the Verbier Festival.

    A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Owens began his musical training as a pianist at the age of six, followed by formal oboe study at age eleven. He holds a bachelor’s degree in voice from Temple University and a master’s degree in opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he currently serves on the board of trustees. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2019.

  • Acclaimed for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra offers a dynamic showcase of tomorrow’s exceptional young talent. Each year the 100 extraordinary musicians of the orchestra work with internationally renowned conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet Séguin, who also mentors the early-career conductors who hold Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowships. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

  • Through imaginative productions, bold concepts, and absorbing theater, the artists of the Curtis Opera Theatre prepare to become stars of the world stage. The combination of key elements of artistry—music, acting, singing, and costumes—allows these student-artists to create a lasting connection with audiences.

Special Thanks

Orchestral concerts are supported by the Jack Wolgin Curtis Orchestral Concerts Endowment Fund.

Guest conductor appearances for each Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance are made possible by the Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser Chair in Conducting Studies.

The Curtis Opera Theatre is generously supported by the Ernestine Bacon Cairns Trust, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.

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